Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Link Found Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Protein Regulation in the Brain - Hope for New Treatments

23.10.2012
Alzheimer’s research has focused primarily on efforts to identify and treat the factors that contribute to familial (genetic) dementia, which is caused by known mutations. This new research sought to understand the mechanisms in the development of Alzheimer’s that are linked to molecular response to the metabolic distress that increases with age.

A link has been discovered between Alzheimer’s disease and the activity level of a protein called eIF2alpha. This has been reported in a new study conducted at the University of Haifa’s Sagol Department of Neurobiology, recently published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. According to Prof. Kobi Rosenblum, head of the Department, altering the performance of this protein via drug therapy could constitute a treatment for Alzheimer’s, which is incurable.

Alzheimer’s research in recent years has primarily focused on battling the disease once symptoms have appeared, even though it’s known that the disease nests in the brain many years before any symptoms are revealed. In advanced stages of the disease, Prof. Rosenblum explains, small lumps (called plaques) are identified forming in the brain from a protein called amyloid. These plaques, he says, are typical of Alzheimer’s sufferers and undermine brain functioning. Much research has been directed at understanding these plaques and trying to eliminate them or restrict their formation and growth.

The new study, conducted by research student Yifat Segev in the Laboratory for Research of Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Underlying Learning and Memory, which is headed by Prof. Rosenblum, in cooperation with Prof. Danny Michaelson of Tel Aviv University, sought to identify factors that could be linked to Alzheimer’s even before the irreversible amyloid plaques are formed, and that are connected to the disease’s primary risk factor – age.

A previous study co-authored by Canadian researchers and Prof. Rosenblum’s lab at the University of Haifa, revealed that cognitive abilities could be improved by altering the activity of the eIF2alpha protein, which regulates the creation of proteins in all cells, including nerve cells. That research gave Alzheimer’s researchers a glimmer of hope: Perhaps it would be possible to improve cognitive abilities or even prevent cognitive damage in Alzheimer’s patients at an early stage of the disease by intervening in the mechanisms that regulate protein generation in nerve cells.

The current study compared mice that expressed the human Apoe4 gene - a gene known as a central risk factor for Alzheimer’s - with a group of mice with the parallel Apoe3 gene, which does not constitute a risk factor for the disease. Mice in the former group showed a change in the regulating mechanism for protein generation involving the eIF2alpha protein that damaged the cognitive abilities of those mice at a young age. This sort of mechanism change is characteristic of aging, and so also hinted at the tendency of these mice toward premature aging.

According to Segev, this is the first time that a link has been found between the activity of eIF2alpha and the Apoe4 gene in relation to Alzheimer’s disease. She noted that modification treatments for the eIF2alpha mechanism are being widely researched and are developing quickly, and so the more we can understand about the connection between this mechanism and Alzheimer’s, the more we can find ways to identify and slow the progress of the disease.

For more details contact
Rachel Feldman
rfeldman@univ.haifa.ac.il
+972-54-3933092
Communications and Media
University of Haifa

Rachel Feldman | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.haifa.ac.il

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed
18.01.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht 127 at one blow...
18.01.2017 | Stiftung Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Leibniz-Institut für Biodiversität der Tiere

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>